Search This Blog

Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
P. B. Shelley

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Autumn in Silicon Valley, California

I have lived in this area we call Silicon Valley for 15 years, and continuously in California for 21 years. I wanted to move right here where I am right now since 1970 to attend UC at Santa Cruz and to California since I was 6 years old, raised on stories of loved relatives and their histories in California going back to the 1800's. As my grandmother used to say, " I lived in LA before there were sidewalks!" A great-great uncle helped develop Pacifica and married a lovely lady whose mother sang in the San Francisco opera. My father wanted us to settle in the Hollywood area in the 1948 so that he could work on music for movies and put together another big band there with friends who already were establishing themselves.

The glamour and excitement was very magnetic but it was the natural world that really drew me here. I would imagine the coast and starfish on sparkly sand when I was a little girl. Later, seeing photos of the breathtaking Big Sur coast I was completely enamoured with California. I loved the music and the art. When I first visited in the early 1960's it was Disneyland and eye-popping observations of the people, culture and pace of life. But what stuck was the incredible evening sea breezes in LA that wafted in to my great aunt's retro apartment. I had to ask her what it was. It was the most beautiful sweet air I had ever just a memory.

Here in the capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA, is one of the best autumns I have ever had the pleasure of living in. It is the season of the plein aire, the special atmosphere that exists in just 2 other parts of the world that Impressionist painters need. It is the best place to paint I have ever been. Here palm trees and deciduous trees co-exist and the latter turn incredible crimsons, oranges, mingling with greens until they are yellow and then brown and fall off and blow away.  Deep rose colored berries pop out in clusters and all kinds of seeds on trees drop to the ground for the squirrels and birds. Pomegranate trees display balls of red fruit in yards all through the neighborhoods. San Jose is a forest city with a team that cares for it called City Forest.

One of the most exciting scenes, though is the floral. The royalty at this season is the Bird of Paradise. Here are a few shots of one at the end or opening of my street, also computer enhanced. It only makes it's appearance in the autumn and disappears during the winter.

 A beautiful dancing crowned bird showing us the joy of the season!

No comments: